RoadKill Radio News, November 28, 2012
What are the issues behind Bill C-279, the NDP’s “Bathroom Bill”?
Left-winger, anti-spank, sex activist Libby Davies, NDP member for Vancouver East, cites two reasons for supporting the bill:
• There is at present no specific protection for the rights of transsexuals; and
• Canada is already a signatory to the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
According to the “Summary” that appears on the government’s website, Bill C-279 states:
This enactment amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination.
It also amends the Criminal Code to include gender identity and gender expression as distinguishing characteristics protected under section 318 and as aggravating circumstances to be taken into consideration under section 718.2 at the time of sentencing.
This isn’t the first time “gender expression” has hit the parliamentary pavement. Previous versions of virtually the same bill have been grinding away according to Ms. Davies since 2005 and again in 2006 and then again in 2008 by NDP MP Bill Siksay, who managed to have it passed by the House of Commons, only to have it die on the Order Paper in the Senate when the last election was called.
Dean Allison, Conservative member for Niagara West—Glanbrook in Ontario, points out that existing protections under “sex” in the Canadian Human Rights Act can be interpreted by the courts to protect transsexuals.
But, he says, creating a legal right to gender identity and gender expression could result in men gaining access to girls’ bathrooms and showers in public places, such as schools, public pools or gymnasiums. The bill would give such special rights to those who simply consider themselves transgendered, giving sexual predators access to women’s facilities. “Imagine the trauma a young girl would face, going into a washroom, or a change room at a public pool, and finding a man there,” he says.
“The Canadian Human Rights Act does not require total blindness to the distinction between men and women, but already requires intervention when people experience discrimination on the grounds of sex.”
Nor, he says, should tribunals and courts be asked to reconstruct and re-interpret gender “norms”.
Of course our neighbours to the south are already grappling with this reality. A recent story in Lifesite News hit the public’s headlights when a community college gave the go ahead to a man named “Colleen” who took seriously his right to “express” (and expose) his gender in the women’s change room, a change room used often by children as young as 6 who participate in community activities.
There is good news and bad. The bad news is that this bill has passed 2nd reading. The current status of Bill C-279, according to the government’s website, is that “the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.” This link will take you to the record of the vote so you can see how YOUR MP voted.
The good news is that one MP is actively standing-up for common-sense. Rob Anders, Conservative MP for Calgary West, has drafted a petition that demands Parliament act in protecting the best interests of children by defeating Bill C-279. You can download a copy of the petition here, get you friends and family to sign it and make your voice count!
It’s time for Parliament to stop hiding behind the courts, and have the courage to stand up for and defend public norms based on civil decency and privacy concerns.